Kyoto Convention and Visitors Bureau

A new etiquette guide grades visitors’ infractions using judgmental emoji.

In any given city, there’s one thing on which all locals can agree: Tourists ruin everything. They stand to the left on escalators. They congregate on sidewalks. They can’t figure out how to buy transit passes. They use selfie sticks. It’s enough to make even the most patient resident’s blood boil.

The city of Kyoto recently took this matter into its own hands and released an etiquette manual for tourists—complete with an emoji metric of severity. The guide, produced in collaboration with TripAdvisor, features 18 “akimahen,” or don’ts, for visitors to Japan’s former capital city. Some of the advice is universal—“keep toilets clean,” “let those who need it have priority seating”—while other tips offer up some local color. For instance, tourists should say okini, or “thank you,” instead of tipping, and refrain from grabbing maiko performers by their kimono sleeves.

Each offense is rated on a scale of one to three emoji, with three being the most repugnant. Littering and drunk biking are among the especially heinous faux pas, and they fetch some pretty stiff penalties to boot—30,000 yen and 1 million yen (or five years in prison), respectively.

Kyoto’s guide is the latest in a series of government-sponsored tourist outreach efforts in the news lately, as The Telegraph notes. There was Russia’s “safe selfie” brochure and Thailand’s etiquette manual for Chinese tourists—and, on the other side, China’s Guidebook for Civilised Tourism,” which attempted to educate its own citizens before they traveled abroad.

Now if only France would publish a guide to managing expectations—and nip the scourge of “Paris Syndrome” in the bud.

(Kyoto Convention and Visitors Bureau)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Two women at a bar with a bottle between them.
    Life

    The Particular Creativity of Dense Urban Neighborhoods

    A new study finds evidence that Jane Jacobs was right about the dynamic and innovative qualities spurred by living in dense, urban neighborhoods.

  2. Design

    Before Paris’s Modern-Day Studios, There Were Chambres de Bonne

    Tiny upper-floor “maids’ rooms” have helped drive down local assumptions about exactly how small a livable home can be.

  3. Design

    Why Amsterdam’s Canal Houses Have Endured for 300 Years

    A different kind of wealth distribution in 17th-century Amsterdam paved the way for its quintessential home design.

  4. How To

    Want Solar Panels on Your Roof? Here's What You Need to Know

    A handy reference for navigating an emerging industry.

  5. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

×